What is Hollywood, you ask, dear children? A quorum of whores babbling endlessly on about fucking while the bordello is razed for a penny arcade -- Paul Bern

Monday, December 20, 2010


The anxiety that comes out of the post-freudian schizo-identity (as opposed to the traditional mutual confusion of tribe and self; mutual potentialities) naturally benefits the consumerist (ideology of "Choice") constructions of the self.

But this may be transitional phase...

People are becoming stereotypes, but not in a simple way -- that is, they possess an "optical", surrealist dimensionality, but psychology, which is the realm of the weak/wounded and private, the position of resistance, is giving way to the intriguing "flatness" of socio-tribal functionality.

Away from authenticity and back to social stylization of self.

Virginia Woolf: "we remodel our psychological geography when we read Dickens (with his) characters who exist not in detail, not accurately or exactly, but abundantly in a cluster of wild yet extraordinarily revealing remarks."

Zach Campbell: ....the context of emotion is usually left wholly unexamined in mainstream film & TV.  Only a false sense of "contained" emotion is to be respected. Emotions do not build upon each other; they do not have texture - the audiovisual, gestural archive of emotional cues is large enough at this moment to be drawn upon without elaboration, without narrative. We already see what a pouting lip means, what a raised eyebrow might mean, what a threatening posture entails ...the biggest aesthetic threat to competent film & TV acting is that people often hit these cues thoughtlessly and yet treat them as a register of "knowing" performance.
Woolf's "remarks" or strokes are somewhat like the Kata and Mie in Kabuki. They are devices to invite public participation in the spectacle, where the audience too has a role to play in the dynamic exchange. Kata and Mie have the power of artifice because we recognize that we often don't behave as idiosyncratic, withholding Brandos, but as clearly telegraphing types. We may not need for people to applaud the formal perfection of the performative move, but we at the very least want to be recognized. There is a not-that obscure virtue in the sophistication of fulfilling typage in an aristeia with regard to one's culture or audience.
Mahmood refuses the ideals of liberal philosophers who insist that individual choice is the prime value. She describes these Egyptian Muslim women's strong desires to follow socially-prescribed religious conventions "as the potentialities, the 'scaffolding' through which the self is realized", not the signs of their subordination as individuals. She argues that their desire to take the ideals and tools of self-reference from outside the self (in Islamic religious practice, texts, and law) challenges the usual separation of individual and society upon which liberal political thinking rests. She tells us we need to question the (modern American) distinction that underlies most liberal theory between "the subject's real desires and obligatory social conventions".

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